Tag Archives: white privilege

White Self-Hatred?

Why is white self-hatred fashionable?

I would suggest that it has something to do with a striving after what sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called “distinction.”

The basic concept is not hard to understand. Elites are motivated to find ways to distinguish themselves from the common run of humanity. They do this by means of a variety of affectations and rationalizations, the common underlying element of which is the assertion of the elite’s inherent specialness, reflected in its elevated intelligence, discernment, refinement. Without this faith in its uncommonness, the elite would be susceptible to the intolerable suspicion that its position is purely contingent.

To support faith in its inherent superiority, the elite makes a point of embracing ideas and tastes that are flagrantly uncommon. In the arts, for instance, the elite patronizes just those artists and designers whose work is inscrutable and even repugnant to everybody else. Thus the modern phenomenon of the avant-garde. But, elite snobbery expresses itself in moral as well as aesthetic taste.

Just as the elite patronizes the artistic avant-garde, it also supports what at any given moment pass for avant-garde attitudes, preferences, and lifestyles. Some of the attitudes the elite patronizes may even have an anti-elitist cast to them. But this is of little import. The elite is immune to cognitive dissonance because it regards whatever avant-garde notions it adopts as no more than fashion accessories advertising superior taste. This habit of treating ideas as mere signifiers of elevated status reflects the elite’s belief in the invulnerability of its position. It is also an effective way to devalue and undermine the sometimes radical ideas the elite affects to embrace. It reduces ideas, ideologies, philosophies to mere trends, easily embraced because easily discarded.

(Most of the time, the elite is quite correct to treat ideas as of little consequence. It is only occasionally, through a combination of fortuitous circumstances, that ideas prove momentous. The foolish high-born women who promoted the spread of Enlightenment ideas in their salons did not foresee the French revolution that would put these ideas to deadly effect.)

The same elite that supported Marcel Duchamp nominating a urinal to the status of art in 1917 today supports a man nominating himself to be a woman and vice versa.

The more perverse the idea, the more its potential for signifying the elite’s extraordinary refinement. The uncommon are perpetually at war with the common. This is the logic that underlies the elite’s embrace of “progressive” ideas. Progressivism is the intellectual expression of elite snobbery.

The largely white elite’s embrace of anti-white rhetoric is to be understood as part and parcel of the elite’s affectation of moral superiority. Naturally, the elite does not feel that hatred of “white privilege” pits it against itself because part of the elite’s affectation is that the mere profession of progressive ideas places the professor above the common herd toward whom progressive invective is directed. The bad people, the deplorables, are always located among the low, uncomprehending, bestial masses. The common theme of progressive ideas is the lamentable backwardness of the common people.

This would explain why today, progressivism is so profoundly at odds with populism.  And why the vilification of white privilege is the ultimate expression of white privilege.